By Asia Zhang
Flying back to the continental United States after three slamming wins in the Rainbow Wahine Showdown in Honolulu, No. 8 Stanford women’s basketball (6-0, 0-0 Pac-12) fights to protect their undefeated season, venturing into the Pacific Northwest this Sunday to play Gonzaga (8-1) at 2 p.m. in Spokane, Washington.
Absolutely squashing their competition over this thanksgiving weekend, the Cardinal took on three teams, defeating the Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles (5-2) 88-65, the American University Eagles (4-3) 71-49 and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors 81-59 (1-7).
The Cardinal dominated their third and final game against host Hawaii, although both teams started the game off slow, with Hawaii staying in the single digits and Stanford putting 15 points in the bucket in the first quarter, shooting just 5-14 from the field and 0-7 from the arc, heating up at the end of the quarter with a 9 point run and a 15-8 lead. Fueled by the fiery Cardinal spirit, Stanford scored an impressive 40-22 lead in the second quarter, maintaining its lead for the remainder of the game.
In the last 48 seconds of the game, however, junior Anna Wilson sustained a game-ending fall, resulting in a trip to the hospital. Wilson had accidentally tripped and fell backwards while playing defense, hitting a chair and injuring her neck. After determining the severity of her injury, the coaches and officials agreed to end the game, sending Stanford home with their third win of the weekend with a score of 81-59. Thankfully, on Sunday evening, the Stanford women’s basketball team’s Twitter account announced that Wilson’s scan had come back clear, allowing her to travel home with the team later that night.
The Cardinal played their third consecutive game without starting freshman Lexie Hull who had injured her leg, rendering her unable to play in last weekend’s tournament. As a result, Wilson had been starting in Hull’s place throughout the duration of the tournament. With two reliable players out of the game, head coach Tara VanDerveer noted that, “It was too soon to speculate on how Wilson’s injury will affect the starting lineup [and] the number one thing is her getting better, but we have other people that any time someone gets hurt, someone has to step up. We’ll have to wait and see about where we go from here, but it’s unfortunate.”
Coming off a three game win streak after winning their last two games in the Vancouver showcase and their most recent against Colorado State (50-39), the Gonzaga Bulldogs are ready for competition. The Bulldogs were pressed when Colorado responded to their 31-17 lead with seven unanswered points, while the Bulldogs tailed with two points ending the second quarter 33-24. However, led by senior Zykera Rice with her second-straight double-double, who finished with a 12 points from the field and a game-high tying 11 rebounds, the Bulldogs were able to come out ahead.
Adjusting to a new lineup, Stanford needs to be on their feet as the Bulldogs seek to ruff them up. As a strong and resilient team, there is no doubt that that Stanford has the ability to give the Bulldogs a run fur their money. Catch their sensational plays on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Contact Asia Zhang at asiaz ‘at’ stanford.edu.